Does customers have an apostrophe?

Q. Should the words “customers” be used with an apostrophe?

Adam answers:

That depends on how you are using the word. If you are talking about more than one customer, and the customers are not in ownership of something in the sentence, then you simply use “customers” with no apostrophe. (You are just using it as the plural of “customer” by adding an “s”.)

Example: “What would our customers think if we started offering free shipping?”

The only time you use an apostrophe with the word customers is if you are talking about something that the customers own, such as their opinions:

Example: “Let’s do a survey to get our customers’ thoughts on shipping costs.”

If you are talking about just one customer, you would again use an apostrophe only if showing ownership:

Example: “My new customer’s assistant doesn’t seem to like me.”

A common mistake people make is putting an apostrophe in a word when they change it from singular to plural. DO NOT DO THIS! Look at the right and wrong examples below:

RIGHT: “Our customers love our free shipping!”

WRONG: “Our customer’s love our free shipping!”

One final sentence to make it clear:

“If it’s good for your customers’ pocketbooks, it’s good for your customers.”